By Lieutenant (Navy) Patrick White
While patrolling the Guatemala Basin during Operation CARIBBE on April 2, 2016, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Edmonton freed two sea turtles ensnared in a fishing float.
The float was detected by the ship during the afternoon watch and, upon closer inspection, was seen to have two loggerhead sea turtles tangled up in the fishing lines. Within minutes, Edmonton had its rigid-hulled inflatable boat in the water and several sailors proceeded to cut the lines in order to free the animals.
“We take a lot of precautions during our operations to have minimal impact on the environment, including sea life,” said Master Seaman Donald Merlo, who helped free the turtles. “I’m proud to be part of an organization that helps contribute to global peace and security, while honouring Canada’s commitment to future generations.”
The sea turtles had some visible signs of injuries sustained from their time in distress, but immediately carried on their way once set free.
HMC Ships Edmonton and Saskatoon were recently deployed on Op CARIBBE, Canada’s contribution to Op MARTILLO, a multinational campaign against transnational criminal organizations in the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Learn more about Op CARIBBE and Canada’s contribution to counter-narcotic operations.